Thursday, December 15, 2011

Trump Should Call for Inquiry into Tunnel Blockage

Donald Trump shows an interest in infrastructure.

So why does not he call for an inquiry into the virtual stop upon the proposed Cross Sound Tunnel that came with the N.Y. Governor Eliot Spitzer sex scandal?

Likewise he should be speaking out against the Obama Administration's contempt for long term planning, lagging behind other nations:

After all, both the Cross Sound Tunnel and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway are within N.Y., and Trump himself is a New Yorker...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

U.S. Decline Under Obama- BQE EIS Stopped

Officials cancel EIS for needed BQE I-287 reconstruction.

Apparently, the Democratic Party takes the region for granted. This segment of I-278 is New York Long Island's sole continuous interstate highway route to the west that bypasses Manhattan, yet somehow its modernization is not compelling to the Obama Administration?

Borough President Marty Markowitz- “While I understand that budgets are facing deep cuts, the decision of NYSDOT and the FHWA (Federal Highway Association) to terminate the EIS studies on the Gowanus and BQE expressways is an insult to Brooklyn and New York City. By postponing their replacement by a generation or more, poor service will continue on these critical roadways and the millions of New Yorkers who travel them every year or live in proximity will suffer.”

Meanwhile, Germany is to Widen and Cover its A7

Although the article mentions six lanes being covered, the video shows this freeway widened to 4-5 lanes, with covered segment intelligently utilizing the now existing sloped embankment space.

Perhaps some politicians shall make this an issue?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sweden- We Do Urban Freeways Right

from CP Zilliacius:

In Sweden they could say “We do urban freeways right!”

The Southern Link motorway, part of a fairly tight circumference “beltway” around Stockholm, opened some years ago.

The western side (mostly not underground, extremely busy) has been open for decades.

Now they are building the Northern Link (the Eastern Link is left, and that’s in planning and preliminary engineering).

Southern Link on Wikipedia:

Northern Link (being built now):

Handout (in English): (.pdf, 3.73 MB)

Environmental mitigation (also English): (.pdf, 4 MB)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Boondoggle of the Westway Opposition

More controversy in N.Y. over 1.2 billion (1975 figure) 2.3 billion (1981 figure) Westway Highway Project than the continuing mega boondoggle of the drug war; for the sake of a mere $1.7 billion for mass transit out of $30 billion claimed by anti-Westway Straphangers Capaign

Remember the late 1970s and early 1980s in New York City controversy over Westway?

It was to replace Manhattan's geometrically obsolete elevated West Side Highway with a modern highway tunnel within new landfill; it was to have an outboard configuration, that was found to be the most cost effective via construct-ability, and would have provided the added benefit of extending Manhattan's streetgrid an additional block west - building upon a tradition of doing so dating back to the 1600s: providing new waterfront parkland and developable lots bring in revenue via the sales and perpetually via property taxes.

North of 29th Street, Westway would have been elevated upon the existing West Side Highway/12th Avenue right of way, sparing the existing docks northward alongside the Javits Convention Center to the vicinity of 57th Street, connecting north to the 9A Henry Hudson Parkway- with its I-478 interstate highway designation and mixed with truck traffic no further then 57th Street.

Westway was to be funded by the Federal government.

Westway would have maintained the traffic light free 3x3 mainline West Side Highway in the way best facilitating local-pedestrian access to the waterfront, of a tunnelway. Though further facilitating likewise the further densification of Manhattan -- think about the many new condos, many with their own new private automobiles -- Westway would merely maintain the existing 3/3 configuration, with extra pavement only for ramp access, safety shoulders and bringing the lanes to the 12 foot standard to ease truck traffic.

Other cities have adopted this general concept of enclosing riverfront freeways into enclosed tunnels and free up the space above for waterfront pedestrian access.

So one might ask- how did Westway get so villified?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NY-NJ Cash Tolls Now $12

A 50% increase from $8 to cross the Hudson River.

EZ Pass users pay $9.50.

This is less then the $15 and $12 cash/EZ Pass proposal of the previous month.

Yet not a single additional lane since the construction of the lower deck of the GW Bridge a half century ago!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

NY-NJ Toll- Fares to Steeply Increase in region with far too few major infrastructure projects

Public hearing scheduled for August 16-

public should demand additional crossings, new RR tunnels, Lincoln & Holland Tunnel Augmentation, Cross County Bridge to New Jersey, and expedited Cross Sound Link and Cross Brooklyn-Harbor Tunnels*

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey proposed its steepest toll increase in modern memory on Friday, unveiling a plan that would raise the cost of crossing the tunnels and bridges that span the Hudson River by 50 percent for most drivers and raise the price of a monthly PATH train pass by 65 percent.

E-ZPass users would see a jump from $8 to $12 at peak hours on the three major Hudson River crossings — the George Washington Bridge and the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels — as well as three other bridges between New Jersey and Staten Island. Drivers who pay with cash would be charged $7 more, or $15 a trip, making the toll one of the highest in the country.

The provenance of the larger-than-expected proposed increases was mysterious. The two men who control the agency, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, issued a statement saying they shared “obvious and significant concerns” about the proposal.

But privately, the Cuomo administration signed off on the plan within the past week, according to two sources familiar with internal discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering administration officials. The agency had been planning for months to impose a $2 toll increase. The $4 proposal caught agency officials off guard.

Asked whether Governor Cuomo had pushed for the $4 increase, a spokesman, Josh Vlasto, responded, “That’s not true.” But he would not elaborate on the discussions or the governor’s view of the proposal.

“There is nothing more to say,” Mr. Vlasto said.

Of course, governors often like to step in and halt unpopular increases and fees, and proposals to raise Port Authority tolls tend to start a familiar political dance: the agency puts forward a bracing plan, the public reacts angrily, and governors relish the role of advocate for the overburdened commuter. Usually, a more reasonable compromise is reached.

A public hearing on the proposal is expected to be held on Aug. 16, and the Port Authority’s board of commissioners will consider the new tolls and fares at a meeting this month.

If the board votes for the plan, both governors would have 10 days during which they could veto the increases.

The board and the Port Authority’s top administrative staff members are entirely selected by the two governors, and few decisions at the agency, which controls many of the region’s bridges, tunnels, shipping ports and airports, are made without some form of consultation with Albany and Trenton.

The Port Authority, which receives all of its revenue through tolls and fees, has seen its budget wither from the poor economy, which has reduced the number of drivers on its crossings, and the siphoning off of funds for nonagency projects.

After Governor Christie decided last year to end an ambitious plan for another train tunnel under the Hudson because of its cost, he successfully pushed the agency to redistribute $1.8 billion of the money it had earmarked for the project instead to be used for road and highway repairs in New Jersey.

Some regional transportation advocates endorsed the toll increases on Friday, saying the additional revenue was sorely needed for major infrastructure projects. But critics said drivers and PATH riders would not be asked to make such large sacrifices if the agency’s budget had not been raided.

“This increase is not surprising given the financial pressure” put on the agency, said Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. And some New Jersey politicians said the big increases were a way for Mr. Christie, who has sworn off tax increases, to squeeze revenue from the commuting public.

“If you say you’re not going to raise taxes on anybody to fund transportation, it’s disingenuous to take money from the Port Authority and have them raise tolls, and act as if you’re not responsible,” said Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, Democratic chairman of the State Assembly’s transportation committee. The toll increase, he said, “is Chris Christie’s toll increase.”

Under the proposal, a single fare on the PATH train, the diminutive commuter subway system that connects parts of Manhattan to New Jersey, would be raised $1, to $2.75 a ride.

The price of a 30-day unlimited pass for the PATH system would be raised by 65 percent, to $89 from $54 a month.

The proposal calls for the crossing tolls to be raised again in 2014, with an increase of $2 for drivers. The PATH fare would not be raised again in 2014, under the current proposal.

Revenue from this year’s increases would generate an additional $720 million for the agency. The second phase of increases, in 2014, would raise $290 million.

Michael Barbaro contributed reporting


* Best done without new general taxes and without the continuing mega boondoggle of the cigarette-pharma mercantilism drug war.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

NY Times Phony Pro Automobile Slant

"Across Europe, Irking Drivers Is Urban Policy"
one sided reporting sustaining the misconception that European cities are against spending money to accomodate automobile traffic, such as reporting on efforts to remove freeways but not those to construct them underground

“In the United States, there has been much more of a tendency to adapt cities to accommodate driving,” said Peder Jensen, head of the Energy and Transport Group at the European Environment Agency. “Here there has been more movement to make cities more livable for people, to get cities relatively free of cars.”

To that end, the municipal Traffic Planning Department here in Zurich has been working overtime in recent years to torment drivers. Closely spaced red lights have been added on roads into town, causing delays and angst for commuters. Pedestrian underpasses that once allowed traffic to flow freely across major intersections have been removed. Operators in the city’s ever expanding tram system can turn traffic lights in their favor as they approach, forcing cars to halt.

Around Löwenplatz, one of Zurich’s busiest squares, cars are now banned on many blocks. Where permitted, their speed is limited to a snail’s pace so that crosswalks and crossing signs can be removed entirely, giving people on foot the right to cross anywhere they like at any time.

As he stood watching a few cars inch through a mass of bicycles and pedestrians, the city’s chief traffic planner, Andy Fellmann, smiled. “Driving is a stop-and-go experience,” he said. “That’s what we like! Our goal is to reconquering public space for pedestrians, not to make it easy for drivers.”
The New York Times selectively ignores examples to the contrary, of European cities with significant projects to modernize and bury important express highways. Rather it sets the stage of taking out portions of the road network:
“There were big fights over whether to close this road or not — but now it is closed, and people got used to it,” he said, alighting from his bicycle on Limmatquai, a riverside pedestrian zone lined with cafes that used to be two lanes of gridlock. Each major road closing has to be approved in a referendum.
This is entirely consistent with the 'mainstream' aka organized-funded 'environmentalist' organizations, and internet media outlets, which will obsess over the freeway removal projects such as that in South Korea, though not mention the Madrid project- a notable example of this was the June 1 NY Times article about an effort in Mexico City citing the Korea project but curiously not that in Madrid.

This is a strict loyalty to a doctrine that we simply can not afford to spend more on infrastructure overall, that we can only do a zero sum game of shifting the funding from one type of infrastructure to another- and dare not even consider the WHY behind this budget constraint of continuing distraction from the overspending on military solutions, starting with that cigarette-pharama racketeering scheme of the $1/5+ trillion a year 'drug war'.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Conversation with the Self-Centered "Cap'n Transit"


Douglas A. Willinger said...
"... bring down the Tappan Zee, the Kosciuszko, the Goethals and the Pulaski"

Ahhh. Guilt out the impressionable young college studnest to believe that technology is static, that the are no alternatives to petro, and increase conjestion, and pollution by taking out valuable river crossings -- including a non contigious BQE?

It's a great way to dumb down the public to accept the obscene Pentagon- an entity that does not care a rats's ass about roads, evacuation routes nor civil defense.

Take out the Tappan Zee- and leave NO road links accross the Hudson River between the GW Bridge and Bear Mountain with its attrocious Westchester approach roads.

May 8, 2011 11:32 PM
Cap'n Transit said...
Yeah, that's about what it boils down to, Doug. Except that I do believe we should replace that lost road capacity with rail capacity.

In your worldview there is no induced demand. Who's dumbing down the public?

By the way, Doug, are you here to have an actual discussion where you listen to what other people say, or will I have to delete your comments?

May 8, 2011 11:47 PM
Douglas A. Willinger said...
How are you serving rail by eliminating the Tappan Zee Bridge crossing, rather then including rail in the replacement spans?

That would be more anti-highway than pro transit: a conclusion I likewise have, in a mirror image version, with - alas -- Reason and CATO

They spend their efforts decrying rail. But they DON'T promote the needed highway links (such as I-287 to 135 Long Island Sound Crossing and Cross Brooklyn-Bay Tunnel), nor Washington, D.C.'s incompleted I-395 at NY Ave. [Though to their credit they at least give some lip service for ending some aspects of the cigarette mercantilism].

IMHO it's no accident that the lamestream jesuitical 'intelligensia'that gets many people to support ideals to serve fewer people, serving existing technologies.

May 13, 2011 3:17 PM

Cap'n Transit said...
You're not getting it, Doug. I'm not serving rail. Either rail is serving my goals or it's not.

May 15, 2011 12:33 AM
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

TSTC Shortsightedness on N.Y.'s Tappan Zee

Writes letter to Gov Elect Cuomo asking to scale back the Tappan Zee Bridge Project, including deleting the rail component.

On the capital side, the next Governor should also support the LIRR third track project (key for Long Islanders to reap the benefits of East Side Access) and plans for bus rapid transit in the Tappan Zee Bridge/I-287 corridor. Additionally, plans for Tappan Zee Bridge replacement could be scaled down and proceed without the commuter rail connection from Rockland to NYC. Most commuters using the Tappan Zee are travelling to suburban destinations, not ending their trips in Manhattan, so the bus rapid transit connection, which provides much greater utility at the most affordable cost, should be retained.

"Scaling back", without stressing modularity of design -- aka a design allowing components to be added in seperate stages -- for such a major corridor is simply asinine.

The project should include the rail component from Suffern to Tarrytown, with the design permitting a future extension to White Plains and Portchester, and eventually, via the proposed Cross Sound Tunnel, to Long Island and ultimately Jones Beach. Such would be extremely sensible later addition, for serving future desification-redevelopment of the I-287 Cross Westchester Expressway's numerous office parks, which would significently add potential risership.

Likewise, the project should include a barriar seperated 'busway' designed to be expandable to a minimum of two lanes in each direction, given the economics of scale (the 'busway' like any other seperate carriageway requires its own ramps), and serving as a seperate express truckway- more effectively providing additional east-west road capacity where it's scarce, and the ability to better seperate types of traffic.

The twin configuration variant with the best modularity of design

Indeeed, I-287 is Westchester County's sole east-west interstate highway, and one of two of the county's east-west freeways: the other, the Cross County Parkway does not permit trucks -- hence the 'parkway' designation -- and is missing its extensions east of the Hutchinson River Parkway and west of the Saw Mill River Parkway, let alone any bridge or tunnel connections to Long Island or New Jersey. A third planned east-west freeway -- the Bear Mountain Parkway, remains significently unbuilt, despite the proximity of the Indian Point nuclear power station.

Meanwhile, the two closest completed east-west interstate links are I-84 to the north and the heavily used and most difficult to widen I-95 George Washington Bridge/ Trans Manhattan Expressway/ Cross Bronx Expressway.

As the mid-point between I-95 and I-84, I-287 continues to the west of the Hudson River, yet currently has its eastern terminus at I-95 in Portchester/Rye, and currentl lacks a continuation to Long Island- now proposed in the form of the Cross Sound Tunnel. Yet despite the clear need for additional capacity upon the Westchester approach roads, there appears to be a lack of planning for improving the approaches to this new tunnel in Westchester

That the 'mainstream' organizations would rather chip away at a vitally important project for improving regionally scarce east-west high speed road capcity, including adding that which does not yet exist- the rail component, with not a word about designing to add other components later with minimal wasteful demolition (a strange and curious disregard), let alone dare suggest other projects to place less of a reletove burden upon the I-95 Cross Bronx Expressway, speaks volumes about these organization's nature as part of a broader effort to acclimatize people to expect less butter, and more security theater state, cigarette-pharma market protection 'drug war' nonsense.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mexico To Ignore Madrid For Seoul?

This does have space for a set of cut and cover tunnels

Mexico City has a river lined with roads that activists want to re-work into a more pedestrian friendly corridor.

Yet today's New York Times article fails to mention any consideration of Madrid, Spain's acclaimed project that placed the roads underground, instead maintaining the traffc flow all upon the surface- despite its superiority and that Mexico was established by Spainish people.

Instead, these activists are presenting the model of a project in Seoul, Korea which replaced a 4 lane elevated freeway and 10 lane surface road that had been built over a covered stream, with the stream uncovered and restored, but with no underground roadways to increase accessibility for the largest number of people.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Take Out Manhattan's East River Drive?


Currently, the Carl Schurz Park is separated from the bountiful waters of the East River, which it was once connected to in the past. In between the Park and the water lies the Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive – commonly known as the FDR Drive. It forms the line of demarcation between the interior of the East Side and the East River, running approximately nine and a half miles long. Two layers of the FDR separate the Carl Schurz Park from the East River: the northbound FDR lanes the on the middle layer, and the southbound FDR lanes on the bottom layer, with the park itself on the top layer. Although the parkway is a necessary facet of the area, and serves a vital purpose for commuters, it also has several harmful polluting effects on the park and its the species. Therefore, our proposed idea is to redirect the Parkway away from the park, so that it can once again be joined with the aquatic environment and species that it has previously been joined with in the past. Reconnecting the park to the waterfront could return it to a more natural state.

Models for Reconnection:

Cheonggye Freeway, South Korea: In the 1970s, the Cheonggye River in Seoul, Korea, was covered and a road and elevated freeway were built over it. By the year 2000, the area became one of the most congested and noisy parts of Seoul. IT was decided that the freeway would have to be removed in order to combat these issues, as well as stimulate the economy. Freeway demolition began in June, 2003 and was completed in September, 2003. Stream restoration began in July, 2003 and was completed in September, 2005. In March, 2003, Seoul began constructing its first Bus Rapid Transit line, which serves the route of the freeway and is designed to accommodate the drivers of the 120,000 cars that used the road every day. It was completed in June, 2003, at the same time the freeway was closed.

The Korea project was about demolishing an elevated 4 lane freeway, and its flanking 5 lane service surface roads, and uncovering the stream that had been previously paved over.

It is IMHO unwise to come to too many conclusions about the Cheonggye Freeway removal's transport utility without finding any before and after maps (only finding before and after pictures about the obvious that the project made the place much prettier and infinitely more pedestrian friendly).

However, the East River Drive, otherwise known as the FDR Drive is Manhattan's sole remaining full north-south freeway, with the parallel West Side Highway no longer filling the colloquially accepted definition of such with the post Westway defeatism consigning that corridor’s vehicular traffic to traffic lights south of 57th Street.

It's a telling indication where this nation is headed when the universities and the foundation type entities are supporting such nonsense to waste countless person-hours while increasing pedestrian-vehicular conflict, rather than the truly progressive type projects as recently completed in Madrid, Spain.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Madrid, Spain Reclaims Riverfront

Madrid Big Dig - Proyecto Madrid Rio
Buries M-30 beneath new parks along Madrid's Manzanares River

An interesting project I have NOT seen on any of the mainstream blogs such as Streetsblog nor the Infrastructuralist in conformity to the elitist doctrinaire bias for removing freeways -

Indeed, explore Madrid to see how the cookie-cutter 'environmentalist' and 'new urbanist' entities continually *pretend* that freeways and grade separation don't fit within urban environments.


1. Construction of a new 4 kilometer tunnel along the river banks
2. Construction of a new 3.8 kilometer tunnel in the northern intersection
3. Renovation of all intersections with national highways
4. Creation of 6 new exits and access routes along the ring
5. Construction of a 6 kilometer by-pass tunnel connecting the east and west sides of the city

The M 30 had been build decades earlier.

This project was not simply covering the existing M 30, but rather digging it down, and not only for the M 30 but for connecting routes, such as that from the southwest.
It was reported at

The ambitious plan by Madrid’s mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón to submerge a section of the M30 ring motorway immediately adjacent to the old city centre within a tunnel was realised within a single term of office. The city undertook infrastructure measures over a total length of 43 kilometres, six of them along the banks of the River Manzanares, at a total cost of six billion Euro. West 8 together with a group of renowned architects from Madrid, united under the name MRIO arquitectos led by Ginés Garrido Colomero designed the master plan for Madrid RIO.

In 2005, an invited international competition was announced. The proposal submitted by West8 and MRIO for the design of the reclaimed area above the tunnel was the only submission to resolve the urban situation exclusively by means of landscape architecture. The design is founded on the idea »3 + 30« – a concept which proposes dividing the 80 hectare urban development into a trilogy of initial strategic projects that establish a basic structure which then serves as a solid foundation for a number of further projects, initiated in part by the municipality as well as by private investors and residents. A total of 47 subprojects with a combined total budget of 280 million Euros have since been developed, the most important of which include: the Salón de Pinos, Avenida de Portugal, Huerta de la Partida, Jardines de Puente de Segovia, Jardines de Puente de Toledo, Jardines de la Virgen del Puerto and the Parque de la Arganzuela. In addition to the various squares, boulevards and parks, a family of bridges were realised that improve connections between the urban districts along the river. The first subprojects were realised in spring 2007. The realization of the whole project is planned for spring 2011.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Continuing BS Artists Against 'Big Dig West'

The Sierra Club anti environmentalists are at it contiunually.

People think of them as about protecting wildernesses.

Yet when it comes to projects allowing and reconciling greater amounts of human activity within a given developed footprint- this is where they instead go the other way. DON'T build ANY new vehicular road capacity. Especially grade seperated, including tunneled.

This is a strategy of employing simple slogans to stir emotions and a disregard of any facts that would be seen as insane applied anywhere else.

For instance "Big Dig West', regarding Seattle's planned Route 99 Tunnel, conjuring up night mare visions of construction and operationable disasters, ignoring variable of construction let alone such basic things as featherbedded non competitive bid contracts, shoddy concrete, and some highly questionble design details, such as a guardrail design, say upon a right turning curved ramp, to sever people's arms, and worse, dropped ceiling of 6000lb concrete panels relying upon mere adhesive with its extremely unforgiving narrow window of acceptable curing conditions.

Are we suposed to think that such matters are unique to the Boston CAT Project, nor not matters of concern with anything else? Shoddy construction and contracting OK with say rail projects and transit oriented development?

Shoddy arguments abound with the Sierra Club arguments:

1. It lacks exits. True, though the tunnel would serve as 2/2 or 3/3 express lanes of a Route 99 with an express/local 'split', with the tunnel's parallelling local lanes being the new Alaska Way waterfront boulevard.

2. It encourages driving. Yes, allowing and reconcling greater human activity within a given developed footprint. It does not stop the development of transit and transit oriented development.

3. It encourages the production of more greenhouse gasses. It might do that, though that hardly need mean the release of such gasses into the general atmosphere, because even though a free-flowing road without traffic lights allowing more traffic, it is also a great way with the tunnel enclosure to concentrate and collect such gases for producing algae fuel.

The Sierra Club alternative of no vehicular tunnel, all vehicular traffic on the surface might well produce just as much- conceivably with fewer autos, but more stop-start events- think of wasted time & fuel and far greater vehicular - pedestrian conflict, and of course a 100% release of such gasses produced into the general atmosphere.

Accompanying this are ideas that are either in their own right commendable, such as more transit, and others that are not thought out to their feasibility. A particularly egregious example being the idea of improving Seattle's parallelling I-5- sure some extra lanes would be nice, but how do they fit beneath Seattle I-95's downtown Freeway Park?

Has anyone instead looked at the idea of a 99 Tunnel with greater capacity, with a larger bore (2 levels as planned but with 3 lane plus a shoulder rather then the planned 2 lanes plus shoulder in each direction), with planning for a future parallel tube with connections to serve as an express I-5 relief route? Drilling bored tunnels beneath Seattle is going to be infinitely less destruptive and a greater value then propping up Freeway Park as downtown Seattle I-5 is widened. The no 99 Tunnel, add lanes to parallel Seatle I-5, idea combination disregard feasibility and bang per buck.

Of course we have the standard doctrine.

But that just happens to serve petroleum by convincing people that there are simly NO alternative, we must tightern our belw while the elites don't.

Must punishing people for the sins of the elites be "environmentalist", or rather elitist?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Streetsblog Pretends there are too many new vehicular road projects

Where the highways are not simply falling apart, but most were never even built.

“but the fact of the matter is when you look at how our dollars are deployed at the state level they’re deployed in a fashion that is inconsistent with where jobs are and where the economy is created.” That was fine was the U.S. was the world’s incomparable economic superpower, but we need to be more thoughtful with our spending these days, he said.

Beware these foundations from Washington, D.C., Manhattan, nor San Francisco, that claim that we have too many new urban road projects- they are about keeping the roads away from key properties and promoting the myth that there are no alternatives to petro via the 'white van' scapegoating of freeways- all for the devious distraction embodied in the above quote, from the obscene spending on the military and upon cigarette pharama mercantilism (the criminal drug war).

If they are that out of touch with reality regarding their locality, how can they continue to gather so much trust?

Granted there are many gullible college students ...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

CO2 Capture from Vehicular Tunnels for Algae Fuel

Carbon T.A.P. Tunnel Algae Park

Intriguing concept for vehicular traffic tunnel CO2 filtration, capturing it for algae fuel production, presented by Christopher Marcinkoski.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tunnel Plan Still Submerged

– By Peter Jovanovich –

With much fanfare late last year, the Long Island commercial developer Polimeni LLC. floated the idea of building a tunnel from Long Island to Westchester, terminating in Rye. To date, the plan has caused barely a ripple in Albany or on Wall Street.

“We’re shopping the project around,” says Michael Polimeni, the point person for the proposed 16-mile tollway under the Sound. He acknowledges, however, the so-called “Cross Sound Link Tunnel” has received no response from any of the executive departments in Albany, such as the Department of Transportation or the Department of Environmental Conservation.

“Realistically,” says Polimeni, “this project only gets off the ground with top-level support from Governor Spitzer.” When contacted last week by the paper, a press spokesman from the Governor’s Office offered “no comment” on the tunnel proposal, saying that this appeared to be a private matter.

As for Wall Street, where the investors in the project would need to raise at least $9-10 billion, Polimeni said that Bear Stearns was “quite comfortable about raising the money once there was regulatory approval.”

What are the prospects of getting approval to dig a tunnel under Long Island Sound? The Rye Record contacted one of the leading project finance experts in the country, and asked his opinion, on background, of the financial feasibility of the tunnel idea.

“If you are 50 or older, you can stop worrying about the tunnel,” said this Wall Street veteran. “You’ll be gone before it’s dug, if ever.” In this expert’s view, the regulatory obstacles are almost insurmountable. Getting approval, and fighting through lawsuits at every turn, would take as long as two decades and tens of millions of dollars – with no assurance of victory.

Long Island State Senator Carl Marcellino plans to hold a hearing on the project in Oyster Bay January 24, post press time. But, as yet, not one of the “powers that be” in Albany has voiced any support for the Cross Sound Link Tunnel. That prospect, according to a source in the Executive Branch, is “highly unlikely.”

Monday, February 28, 2011

Some Highly Needed Freeway Projects: U.S.A.

all new crossings

Cross Sound Tunnel- New York, Westchester County I-287 to Suffox County (Long Island). Proposed as a triple tube (3 lanes each outboard tube; middle tube for emergency access: modified proposal to increase center tube bore for additional lower level railway; added modication to also increase outboard tube bore for 3 lanes atop and 2 below) VITAL potential evacuation route. Although bored rather then cut and cover, it detours unneccessarily to the east of Oyster Bay, yet is apparantly politcally sabataged- aka the scandal of 'Emperors Club' client #9 NYS Gov Spitzer (with scant mention of any other 'emperor' clients!)

Cross Bay/Cross Brooklyn Tunnel- New Jersey I-78 to and through Brooklyn via the LIRR Bay Ridge to Conduit Boulvard- Upgraded Beltway Parkway Corridor. Combines and upgrades the railway only Cross Bay Tunnel with the cancelled Linear City concept. VITAL potential evacuation route

St Louis I-70 Bridge- vital though hardly requires eliminating grade seperation near Arch. St Louis needs to extend the depressed current I-70 alongside the stadium --requiring it to duck beneath the --- RR, which is why its now elevated

Urban Road Tunnels

Atlanta East Tunnel

Chicago Crosstown- not being proposed as a tunnel, but why not?

San Francisco 19th Street Corridor Tunnel

San Francisco Central Freeway-Octavia Boulevard Bypass Tunnel

San Francisco Embaradero Tunnel

Washington, D.C. Grand Arc-Eastern Star Tunnel- PEPCO I-95 & Downtown Tunnel Loop

Washington, D.C. Wisconsin Avenue Tunnel- Canal Road Duelization- yes let us not forget west of Rock Creek Park

Urban Freeway Reconstructions

New York City:

I-87 Deegan Expressway- expand to 8 lanes minimum (6 lanes as it crosses beneath I-95), each 12 feet wide, with the idea of relieving the I-95 Cross Bronx Expressway by encourging some shift to the Deegan, including for trucks to Hunts Point and Queens, as well as to the north, with expansion via the parallel abandoned railroad and strip of industrial land, with an expansion of the decking to entirely cover, with some additional capacity overall. Project would include a new waterfront cut and cover tunnel perhaps built incrimentally ala Cincinatti Fort Washington Way in the vicinity of Cromwell Avenue, with a new underground southbound ramp crossing beneath 238th Street (eliminating a major traffic backup), as well as a depressing and covering the parkland segment just before the Bronx-Westchester County line, meeting the existing 6 lane I-87, with the 4th lanes connecting to the service roads. Should be a part of the NYDOT project to reconstruct the Highbridge Interchange/Hamilton Bridge, extended to include a reopening of the 178th and 179th Street Tunnels for relieving the I-95 Trans Manhattan Expressway as passages for Manhattan west side bound traffic.

I-87's Plausible Continuation

Improve the Triborough ('RFK) Bridge Queens approach to interstate specifications with 12 foot lanes, 4 in each direction, with new retaining walls mimicking the 1930s design of the originals, in tandem with the other projects for so improving the entire I-278 Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, including a new 10 lane K Bridge, and new tunnels to augment capacity, such as this, and this, down to the Gowanus Expressway segment, crossing the new Cross Bay/ Cross Brooklyn Tunnel, and connecting with the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

I-678 Lower Van Wyck Expressway - southward from the Kew Gardens Interchange: expand to 8-10 lanes, with portions decked. Eliminate Robert Moses apsostsy from basic math via his planning for fewer numbers of lanes from more.

Rural Freeways

New Jersey I-95 to the southwestern I-287 for long distance traffic to go through rural wealthier area to more efficently bypass I-95 through Manhattan and the Bronx, serving to relieve the heavily used Cross Bronx Expressway (where are the environmental justice types at Jesuit Fordham University New Urbanist movement on this?)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What is wrong with the Pentagon?

Highways and Railways are vitally important as lifelines of commerce and movement, with the U.S. Interstate Highway Act of 1956 establishing the network for purposes of DEFENSE

So what gives with the Pentagon's utter indifference for the nation's transportation corridors, and disregard of the principle of evacuation routes, undermined by the political dynamics of political scandal as distraction

Following September 11, 2001, lip service was given to the idea of improving evacuation route capacity, yet whatever happened even with the overly modest idea of a railway only tunnel connecting Brooklyn with New Jersey, let alone the more reaching, and ultimately multi-model Cross Sound Tunnel connecting Long Island Rt 135with Westchester's I-287 with supplementary rail?

Whatever happened to the post 911 idea of additional likely to be targeted areas evacuation route capacity?

Beholden to a Beholden Doctrine

Homeland Security Would Be Better Served By Reviving D.C. I-270 & I-95 Northern Radial Super Arterials

Was NY Gov Spitzer Felled for Supporting Cross Sound Tunnel?

February 24, 2011 Discussion at Greater, Greater Washington

The Story of the blog "Commuter Outrage"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Michelle Malkin- 'White is Black, Black is White' Inside the Beltway Conditioning to Blame Unions, Disregard Social-Economic Benifits

President Obama calls his latest attempt to revive the economy a “Plan to Renew and Expand America’s Roads, Railways and Runways.” I’m calling it “The Mother of all Big Dig Boondoggles.” Like the infamous “Big Dig” highway spending project in Boston, this latest White House infrastructure spending binge guarantees only two results: Taxpayers lose; unions win.

As if the bidding process for the constrution contracts were a topic unworthy of mention, as she places the blame on 'unions' while defining broad civic benifit as unworthy of mention. M Malkin is a useful tool for the powers that be to have us expect less from our government, beyond more wars and more corruption.

Far worthier things written about Boston's CA/T Project are found on the internet, such as this:

I hate to bust a lot of bubbles in this foam about Charlie Baker and the Big Dig, but I was chronicling the Big Dig for a WGBH documentary series and then Directed a CPB Internet experiment in video narrow casting about it from 1990-1997.

My recollection goes like this-on camera everyone (Democrats and Republicans) said one thing regarding the cost and on occasion when the camera was still on and they didn't know it, they might say a few other things regarding the cost. And the estimates climbed every year. Basically it was a love fest and they were all giddy over 80%-92% federal money for each part of the work, the Democrats who were feeding the unions and the Republicans who were stuffing their fat cat contractor buddies and the owners of the utilities and communications companies.

Anyone who has driven anywhere outside of Massachusetts and anyone who ever sat in lines on the Tobin Bridge or coming from the south or west to Logan knows exactly why they were giddy-everyone else in the USA had gotten their share of federal highway dollars over the years and Massachusetts was finally getting in on the federal bucks. Meantime the Republicans were using the Dig to lay groundwork to break up the Turnpike patronage haven and the Democrats were getting political mileage for every cost overrun by Bechtel.

Clearly I have a bias from living on the North Shore. I think only two mistakes in addition to the shoddy work approvals that cost at least one life were made:

1. The whole Big Dig probably would have cost a lot less if we had shut down portions of Boston for 3 to 6 months and excavated the tunnels under the city, relocating utilities as needed. Of course that would have really POed the businesses, the residents, the contractors, the skilled building unions, the police detail unions and would not have stuffed any political pockets, so stupid me for even mentioning it.

2. Charlie Baker and Jim Kerasiotes should have submitted the required documentation to the Feds to put tolls on 93 north of the city and 93 south of the city as required by the feds before final project finance approval. Then, like New York, every major artery would have a toll into the city and the Commonwealth's portion of the Big Dig would have been paid for by people using the new highway system daily. Instead, money to cover the state's portion of the expenses has been sucked from every from bridge and pothole while the people south of Boston still turn their noses up at the commuter rail. If every commuter into Boston (93 N, 93S, Turnpike extension East and maybe even Storrow Drive east was paying $3.50 a day like we do on the Tobin Bridge or in the Ted Williams Tunnel, the Dig would have been paid off without burdening anyone's grandchildren.

So, Charlie Baker made some BIG Big Dig mistakes and he had lots of company, very strange bedfellows and was typically Republican in the process-taking care of the Fat Cat contractors and not caring if the ceiling falls on Marie's h
- Dale Orlando

As well as this:
...could the Big Dig have cost less?

Like any historical counterfactual, a definitive answer is impossible. However, much could be revealed through a detailed case study. What delays were avoidable? What complications did the engineers overlook? Is there any evidence cost estimates were deliberately manipulated? Should the partnership between the Turnpike Authority and Bechtel/Parsons Brinkerhoff been differently designed to improve accountability? Could the project’s 144 separate construction contracts have been written differently? Were Federal highway standards or environmental laws responsible for excessive costs? In short, could changes to the underlying public policy structure have resulted in different costs and construction time? To my knowledge, these questions have not been deeply examined by scholars. If any readers are aware of studies, please post them below.

The result may not be nefarious scheming by greedy contractors. In fact, scholar Bent Flyvbjerg has argued major causes of cost overruns are systematic under-estimation of costs due to political pressure, and a failure to properly account for the inevitable risks that occur as a result of the complexity of megaprojects.

Far from a matter of historical interest, the high cost of transportation infrastructure is a pressing policy issue in a state currently spending $3 billion re-build bridges and planning an extension of the city’s Green Line, among other proposed projects. The high cost of transportation projects was raised recently on an email list operated by the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership, in a thread grousing about the $600,000 price for a bike cage and high cost estimates for the Green Line extension. The issue provoked a rare response from the Commonwealth’s Secretary of Transportation Jeffrey Mullan himself, who denied the costs were inflated or the bidding process is faulty. Although the message concedes “things cost a lot; unacceptably so sometimes,” the post omits any speculation as to why.

Perhaps one day the question will be subject to the scrutiny it deserves
.- Rob Goodspeed


Indeed, I'll say, what about the fraternal order connections & featherbeading?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Anti Automobile Elitism Followed Anti Rail Elitism


It's no coincidence that as soon as the automobile became affordable to the masses and ceased being a luxury good for the wealthy, the anti-car crowd swung into high gear. To them, the car is a symptom of an entire lifestyle they find objectionable: that is, mobility and choice for all. And, not surprisingly, the people they criticize tend to be people they have little in common with, who have no chance of becoming part of their social circles. One only has to conjure the names of environmental activists in Hollywood, such as Cameron Diaz or Laurie David--the wife of comedian and Seinfeld creator Larry David--to prove this point. To illustrate the snobbery of
anti-car elitists, car enthusiasts like to quote the Duke of Wellington, who at the advent of the railroad proclaimed the new technology would "only encourage the common people to move about needlessly."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Anti Car is Anti Transportation

Anyone writing that they are against "Cars" is against transportation for just about everything, and a hallmark of the sort of brain dead group reaction where sloganeering substitutes for rational independent thought.


car (kär)
1. An automobile.
2. A vehicle, such as a streetcar, that runs on rails: a railroad car.
3. A boxlike enclosure for passengers and freight on a conveyance: an elevator car.
4. The part of a balloon or airship that carries people and cargo.
5. Archaic A chariot, carriage, or cart.


[Middle English carre, cart, from Old North French, from Latin carra, pl. of carrus, carrum, a Gallic type of wagon; see kers- in Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

car [kɑː]
1. (Engineering / Automotive Engineering)
a. Also called motorcar automobile a self-propelled road vehicle designed to carry passengers, esp one with four wheels that is powered by an internal-combustion engine
b. (as modifier) car coat
2. a conveyance for passengers, freight, etc., such as a cable car or the carrier of an airship or balloon
3. (Transport / Railways) Brit a railway vehicle for passengers only, such as a sleeping car or buffet car
4. (Transport / Railways) Chiefly US and Canadian a railway carriage or van
5. Chiefly US the enclosed platform of a lift
6. a poetic word for chariot
[from Anglo-French carre, ultimately related to Latin carra, carrum two-wheeled wagon, probably of Celtic origin; compare Old Irish carr]


Friday, February 4, 2011

Inadequate Barriars

Video from Canada underscores the inadequacy of freeway center median dividers for heavy trucks

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Spin Against Westway and Fiscal - Social Responsibility

Killing the goose that would lay the golden egg of a modern underground highway better controlling pollution, new parkland and development providing perpetual added property tax revenues, for the sake of subsidizing the questionable book keeping of the NY transit agencies (along with distracting from the far, far greater expenditures upon the growing prison state/cigarette phama protectionist rackett known as the 'drug war')

Westway Project (1974-1985)

Russianoff writes in Huff Post:

In New York City's long tradition of fighting City Hall, one of the most spectacular examples happened a quarter century ago this week.

It was 1985, when local elected representatives, community members,transportation and environmental advocates, fiscal conservatives and the U.S. Congress forced State and City officials to "trade-in" a planned Interstate highway and river development project known as Westway. The highway would have been built off of Manhattan's West Side and been partly constructed through landfill poured in the Hudson River.

The federal share of Westway's pricetag - $1.725 billion - was reallocated to fix our crumbling subways and buses (more than $1 billion) and to a more modest rehabilitation of West Street (several hundred million.)

Westway's supporters saw the project as a way to gain money from Washington and provide development opportunities off of the West Side of Manhattan. The highway's failure to move forward was another sign of how hard it was to advance construction projects in New York, they claimed.

Opponents saw the project as a misguided allocation of precious federal dollars at a time when our transit network was staggering under decades of inadequate funding. In the early 1980's, riders were plagued by derailments, track fires, crime, breakdowns, slow and unreliable service, boarding vehicles with non-working doors, inadequate lighting and graffiti.

For us, winning more than a billion dollars for transit was the right priority, as was keeping landfill out of the Hudson River.

That would be a rather expensive transfer:

The project received formal approval in 1976. At the time, its estimated cost was $1.2 billio. Not one penny was to come from he City of New York. The project actually generated cash for the city. Ninety percent of the project's cost (aquisition, demolition of the abandoned piers, landfill, parks, new streets, ect.) was to come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund. The rest would be paid by New York State. Westway would assume responsibility fort he City's Hudson River piers and pay for demolishing them. It would pay for building a new municipal incinerator and bus garage. Better yet, the city would recieve cash for its property. In 1981, President Reagan even arrived with a giant sized reproduction of the $85 million.

The American city: what works, what doesn't By Alexander Garvin p 459

The Huff Post- Russianoff piece months later shows 1 comment (comments closed)

jl4141 04:56 PM on 9/29/2010 187 Fans

Nonsense. The defeat of Westway was the result of one of the most ill-consid­ered and misguided political campaigns in New York City history. There would have been long stretches of undergroun­d highway atop which would have been built plenty of new parkland. Instead we have had never-endi­ng traffic congestion and far, far more automotive pollution, which has surely brought about serious health problems for residents, visitors, and commuters, than we would have had had the project succeeded. Westway was unfairly tarnished as a boondoggle and environmen­tal nightmare, but that's what we (ironicall­y) achieved by defeating it.

The Village Voice article meanwhile, as of this writing months afterwards, show zero comments- an astonishing amount for what Russianoff and the Village Voice present as such a great example of citizen activism.